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Pillay, Thumba South Africa
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NMF_Smuggled_Letter_1_001.jpg

This item consists of an envelope addressed to the legal firm of Pillay Seedat & Co. For security reasons, Judge Pillay had a family member mail an empty envelope to the firm. This precaution was taken to protect Mac Maharaj and Judge Pillay in the event of an interrogation by Security Police. The Judge could then say that he had received the documents from an unknown source through the post.

Pillay, Thumba

Judge Thumba Pillay Collection

  • ZA COM NMAP 2010/9
  • Series
  • 1959-01-01 - 1979-12-31
This series consists of two letters smuggled out of Robben Island in 1977. Mac Maharaj gave them to Judge Thumba Pillay of legal firm of Pillay Seedat & Co. The letters are written by Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada, both of them wishing to appoint the firm to act on their behalf in legal proceedings against the Department of Prisons. Since the authorities refused contact with their attorneys, they had to use this "illegal" method to seek legal representation. The collection includes an envelope that Judge Pillay had posted addressed to his law firm. He did this in the event that the Security Police questioned him about how he received the letters, he would be able to prove that they were posted anonymously to him.
A second donation of Judge Thumba Pillay contains correspondence and documents (mainly copies) pertaining to the case of Mandela vs Minister of Prisons.

Mandela, Nelson Rolihlahla

Envelope

This item consists of an envelope addressed to the legal firm of Pillay Seedat & Co. For security reasons, Judge Pillay had a family member mail an empty envelope to the firm. This precaution was taken to protect Mac Maharaj and Judge Pillay in the event of an interrogation by Security Police. The Judge could then say that he had received the documents from an unknown source through the post.

Pillay, Thumba

NMF_Smuggled_Letter_1_002.jpg

This item consists of an envelope addressed to the legal firm of Pillay Seedat & Co. For security reasons, Judge Pillay had a family member mail an empty envelope to the firm. This precaution was taken to protect Mac Maharaj and Judge Pillay in the event of an interrogation by Security Police. The Judge could then say that he had received the documents from an unknown source through the post.

Pillay, Thumba